Declining american dollar damages foreign policy

Saudi Arabia and the United States have been friends for some time. To the average public within the country most Americans view Saudi Arabia as sponsors of terror citing the countries Muslim background. However, Saudi Arabia regularly supports the United States and has done so again in the last round of OPEC meetings.

Venezuela and Iran wanted to open discussions about valuing oil against a new currency standard then the dollar. They were hoping the move would be symbolic that the world should move away from seeing the United States as a leader and move towards some other supper power like China or the European Union.

The 12 member OPEC dignitaries flew into Riyadh and Saudi police and helicopter blocked roads, and protected the sky with helicopters and the dignitaries made it to their place of residency. The meeting was called to discuss oil exports and the cost of oil. In addition, the meet is to ponder ways of reducing emissions.

A secret broadcast came around which showed that Venezuela and Iran were behind the move to change how oil is priced into another currency. Venezuelan representative Angela’s de Morais stated, “The weakness of the dollar is affecting us all” and “But that's a global-scale problem. It's not for an individual organization to tackle.” He was referring to Saudis insistence on keeping the American dollar.

Saudi Arabia doesn’t want to see the American dollar collapse as much of its economy is based on the American dollar. They have hundreds of billions of dollars invested within the United States and removing the dollar as the oil pricing standard may make it decline further which is likely to hurt Saudi Arabia further.

The dollar has declined significantly over the past few years. This decline is up to 15% against the Euro in the past 12 months alone. As the dollar deflates American buy less products from overseas which hurts our allies and business partners. In addition, the decline in the dollar reduces the value of investments made by foreign countries in the Euro.

When countries purchase American dollars or make investments in American dollars they can find that the dollar is deflating which means they are losing money on their investment. Each dollar is worth less then it was a few years ago and therefore their investments have shrunk. To counter this a number of countries have begun to diversify their holding in foreign currency to more stable currency like the Euro.

The declining value of the dollar is a double-edged sword for the United States. On one end the declining dollar increases American exports because American products become cheaper but on the other end America has less foreign influence because countries aren’t selling as many products in the United States.

The current crisis the country has to face is the amount of dissention that a number of disgruntled countries are beginning to show now that their economies are not so tightly tied to the U. S. We may see a growing trend of countries attempting to hurt American interests and business partnerships around the world.

The new hampshire debate - recap of a fear mongering feast

The scene of this terrible accident -- Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N. H. [The third GOP presidential debate -- Tuesday, 5 2007].

My friend Paul Reyes likened them to a "convention of morticians," in their last debate. Mark Mellman, a pollster says these candidates make the Republican party look like "a front for the Flat Earth Society." I equate them with a congregation of angry, trembling middle-aged white men.

In fact, Rep. Tom Tancredo, the Congressman from Colorado might have injested a lethal concoction of "Viagra and Cialis" -- judging by his shrill, "blood cuddling" and discombobulated allocution.

They threatened nuking Iran with tactical nuclear weapons, kicking out all immigrants. John McCain even insinuated that Bill Clinton started the Kosovo war, comparing it to erroneously Bush's "illegal" Iraq war.

For the record: The Kosovo War was a conflict between Serbian and Yugoslav security forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army, an Albanian guerilla group seeking independence. Clinton came into the picture in 1999 -- when NATO attacked Yugoslav targets. Clinton and NATO intervened, they did not initiate this war by lying Bush-Cheney style.

With eyes darting uncontrollably, an angry and trembling Tancredo declared -- "We will not survive as a nation!" "We are testing our willingness to hold on to something known as the English language, the one thing that holds us glued together," adding -- "this is why I will go after any Republican Senator who supports this bill," -- The comprehensive immigration bill currently being debated in the Senate.

"We are becoming a bilingual country -- and that is not good!," wailed an emotional Tancredo, following this statement with a torrent of distorted attacks at immigrants, ranging from welfare benefits to school congestions, to English, ....!

"Bilingual countries don't survive!" ...., "We need 'that thing' to hold us together!" ....yelled Tancredo. Tancredo even suggested that ALL immigration should be stopped .....because America faces "death!"

"It's simply not fair to say those people get put ahead in the line of all the people who've been waiting legally to come to this country," the Master flip-flopper, Mitt Romney said. Lets enforce the current laws enacted in 1986 -- READ: Lets hunt down the immigrants, and suffocate them to submission.

The "communal braying" of the word "Amnesty" without any offer of a workable alternative was nauseating -- all they could furnish was a tired chorus: "Enforce the existing laws!" "Enforce the border!" "Build the fence!" ...."They will all self-deport!" if 12 million immigrants will depart the United States at the wave of a Republican magical wand!

Shows how out of touch with reality these Republican candidates are.

Meanwhile, Gov. Romney is airing campaign ads in SPANISH, the language of the same group of people he is attacking, so relentlessly -- What a hypocrite!

Gov. Tommy Thompson proposed putting George Bush on a "lecture circuit" after his retirement -- Bush, a man who cannot pronounce anything right!

Asked how he would use George Bush if he becomes president, Rep. Tancredo recalled that White House aide Karl Rove had once told him to "never darken the door of the White House." With eyes bulging fiercely, Tancredo said he'd tell Bush the same thing.

Congressman Ron Paul provided the usual theatrics. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani looked like a toothless bull-dog, Duncan Hunter was his usual "anti-immigrant self," Huckabee emphasized that God created man -- but didn't know how, yet he conveniently refuted Darwin's Theory of Evolution. As for flip-flopper Romney -- why would anyone believe anything said by someone whose "faith" didn't believe blacks were human until as recently as the the late seventies.

All in all, this was a sorry group of vicious and pandering pretenders. A bunch of middle-aged white-men immersed in "Gunsmoke Freakdom," my friend Ike, quite correctly states: U. S. Political campaigns become an orgy of prevarication . . . One rich guy tells one set of lies, the other rich guy tells a slightly different set of lies, and you get to base your vote on which set of lies you like the best. "I'll cut taxes!" . . . "I'll give you better schools!" . . . "I'll cut crime!" . . . "I'll cut welfare!" . . . "I'll build more jails!" . . . "I'll create more jobs!" . . . "I'll cut the deficit!" . . . "I'll end the war!" . . . "I'll start the war!" . . . "I'll put a chicken in every pot!" . . . "I'll keep those Immigrants in their place!".

Pure PoliTRICKS!

The other Sunday, the Democrats looked more relaxed, more resourceful and much less angry -- compared to this Republican group who offered nothing substantive in terms of policy, other than fear-mongering and the usual empty and predatory rhetoric.

VERDICT: Senator McCain won this debate. Simply put -- he seems to be the wiser of this Fear-Mongering bunch -- his patriotic speech at the end of the debate, I think, was his strongest moment. But his immigration stance will definitely hurt him with the Republican base, a base that has stopped reasoning totally, when it comes to immigration -- "because America faces death," if 12 to 20 million immigrants are assimilated into the system.

If that's the case, then America should have died already, because these 20 million are already here, and some have been here for 20+ years.

So, what's Tancredo's REAL problem? Your guess is as good as mine.

Interesting history about peru to help amplify your experience when visiting

In my capacity as the UK Director of Operations for One World Tours Limited, one of my jobs is to ensure every client has the best tour possible, so here are some interesting facts about the history of Peru which I hope will enhance your trip.

Who were the Incas? They were a native South American people who in their day ruled over one of the largest and richest empires in the Americas. All that is known about them today has been uncovered through what was recorded through oral tradition, the remains of their culture such as stone, pottery, gold and silver jewellery, and what was woven in the tapestry of the people.

The Incas did not developed a written language making it fascinating that they were able to control and administer such a large area. The Incas reigned over people from hundreds of different tribes who all had their own languages. They managed to keep control by developing sophisticated ways of organizing their society. They realised that by maintaining a large army, and by inventing very advanced agricultural, building and engineering methods that they could become a formidable presence.

The most important inventions that the Incas came up with was the elaborate systems of stone roads and many bridges that they built to connect all the parts of the country.

Everyone that the Incas conquered were forced to learn and speak their language, so inevitably having a common language made communication so much easier in the Inca Empire.

Firstly the Inca road system deserves a mention as it is the most extensive system in pre-Columbia. It is amazing to think that the inca’s made a road system that covered approximately 14,000 miles some of which traversed the Andes mountains achieving heights of over 16,500 feet above sea level. When you consider that evidence shows that the Incas did not use of the wheel for transportation and that they did not have horses until the 16th century, it is incredible that the trails were used just to walk (for transporting goods) or run along (as a means of relaying messages).

In order to offer rest and refreshments there were an estimated 2,000 inns, placed at convienient intervals along the trails. These inns also offered corrals for animals, usually llamas, to rest and fill themselves with the provisions for their onward journey. The Inca’s made rope bridges to enable themselves access acroo the valleys. food, shelter and military supplies to the tens of thousands who traveled the roads. In Cuzco the Inca Capital city, the trails meet in the center of the empire.

The Inca trail to Machu Picchu. The Capaq Nan trail is the most popular Inca trail of all as it leads to the village of Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas". There are also many well-preserved ruins along the way and that along with passing through the Andes mountain range and parts of the Amazonian rainforests makes the whole experience very magical. You will encounter the 'Sun Gate' and entrance to Machu Picchu your reward after your amazing journey. The inca Empire reached its’ height around 1450 when Machu Picchu was built. Story has it that under the Spanish conquest the empire collapsed and Machu Picchu was abandoned less than 100 years later.

The Spanish did not manage to locate Machu Picchu, and because the jungle reclaimed itself it was preserved as were many other Inca sites. Only a very few knew of its existence and the empire was returned to the world’s imagination in 1911 by the Yale historian and explorer Hiram.

Labor day history for kids

Of all the things our teachers teach our children, they do not often touch on the idea of Labor Day history for kids. How much do our children know about this important holiday? If anything, they only know that it is a holiday for workers, but that is the extent of it in most cases.

The designation of Labor Day as a national holiday prior to the turn of the 20th century is historical enough for our children to know about the history of the holiday, and not just that it is a holiday for working class Americans and Canadians. It is an important part of their heritage as Americans to know that the celebration began in 1882 in New York for those working under labor unions. From its conception in 1882 to its later designation into a national holiday in a bill signed by President Grover Cleveland, it has become an important part of our history.

Some confusion may exist concerning the adoption of the first Monday in September as the official Labor Day celebration. Some sources say it’s to differentiate it from the Socialist Labor Day on May 1st, a date that later became May Day, and others indicate that it was chosen because it is halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. Regardless of which version you accept as truth, it is still important to know that Labor Day is not just a holiday to celebrate the unofficial end of summer, nor is its purpose to signify the beginning of autumn and a return to school for our children.

The historical significance lies in the fact that upon its inception, 40 percent of the workforce worked under a labor union, and the holiday was set aside to honor those workers. Currently, about 14 percent of the workforce belongs to a labor union. Although it still holds significance for those older workers and retirees who belong to the labor unions, for most, Labor Day means the unofficial end of summer and a day off from school. Sadly, Labor Day has taken the same road as Memorial Day and is only recognized as important by those who lived in the era that caused its creation.

In future generations, the children will not even know its significance unless we teach them now. Let us not forget the significance of Labor Day and teach our children the struggles their forefathers endured in order to allow the labor force to become one where the average person can earn a decent wage without working 16-20 hours a day six days a week.

Emerald ireland

The minute people hear of the words Irish and Ireland, they immediately think: St. Patrick’s Day, green beer, four leaf clovers and Leprechauns. All of those are a rich part of the Irish Culture, but there is far more to the Emerald Isle than just green beer and leprechauns.

Ireland has often been called the ‘Emerald Isle’ because of the lush green expanses that remind anyone who is lucky enough to view it, of a beautifully faceted emerald glinting in the sun. Ireland is divided in two: The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom with an estimated population of nearly 2 million people. The population now is a great improvement against the plummet in the 1960s. This region had her share of political and religious conflicts throughout history. However all the conflict has managed to add to the cultural richness of the region.

The Irish are a warm people with a rich cultural and historical background. They have been around for a long time and can trace their lineage back to the Celts. The Irish people are divided in culture and religion. The population is mainly a mix of Protestants and Catholics. Politically they are split between Nationalists and Unionist. The division has effectively inspired and inflamed the artistic, religious, political and philosophical passions of the Irish people.

In the eastern coast of Northern Ireland lies the capital city of Belfast. It is considered to be the biggest urban area in this region. It is the 15th largest city in all of the United Kingdom. The city’s motto is inscribed in Latin and states "Pro tanto quid retribuamus". It is a phrase taken from the Biblical book of Psalms and is loosely translated as: "In return for so much, what shall we give back?”

The city of Belfast is home to impressive modern and periodic architecture as portrayed by the Belfast Castle and the Belfast Waterfront Hall. The Belfast Eye and other daunting structures have given an aura of diversity to the city. The residents of Belfast and Northern Ireland are crazy in love with football, like so many other countries in the EU and in the rest of the world. The spectator sport of Gaelic football remains to be the most popular with the residents of this city.

Northern Ireland remains and continues to be a very beautiful country with rolling fog laden hills and rich cultural heritage to match.

Memories on hand the beauty of class rings

The first recorded instance of class rings for a graduating class occurred at West Point in 1835. The tradition has spread, and now in the United States class rings are a common purchase by studetns, often times seen as almost an intregal part of tradition as the caps and gowns on graduation day. Class rings are a great way of not only having a living momento to your high school or college years, but also as a way to tie you to your fellow classmates, to increase that sense of comradery and belonging to something greater.

At one time class rings were genreally a single design made by the high school or college, and the only design chancge would be the graduation year, but today class rings are usually at least somewhat customized by each student. Because of this, there no longer really is a “typical” class ring, though popular generalities still exist. Men's rings are generally larger than women's. The most popular color is gold, though that differs depending on the school and company providing the rings. Students have the option of ordering rings made of white gold, silver, or different alloys of other metals. The center stone is traditionally one of the school's colors, but there are no guidelines for the size or cut of the stone, and that can easily be cusomized however a student wants. Josten's is probably by far and away the best known maker of class rings, though Balfour, Herff-Jones, and ArtCarved are three other major companies that also sell class rings to students.

The school’s name usually appears on the side, though the year of graduation is necessary on at least one side. This is, after all, the distinguishing mark that shows exactly where you belonged in the long history of whichever institution you attended. The school’s logo, motto, or insignia is also a common choice for design. Many students have their name, initials, or nickname engraved on the underside of the ring, underneath the stone, to mark it as their own. This further gives the personalized feeling to the ring, while still keeping you attatched to the larger whole. The ring belongs to you and you only, and yet the year of the class is there, the school emblem is there.

American presidential campaigns the need for a new vision

The current article is the first part of a series on America's spiritual history and soul-identity. A subject like "America's Presidential Campaigns" that is so 'of the world' might be construed as relating only to political life, but that would be incorrect. What relates to consciousness is part of our spiritual life, as is what relates to the operation of light and darkness, and what relates to the vision we hold for the future.


In every area in which consciousness exists, the possibility is also present to make choices that are more or less moral concerning thought and behavior, and to bring every aspect of one's thinking into the highest light. In relation to the national political scene, there is much unconsciousness that operates on all levels, and much manipulation that takes place by those who have a vested interest in shaping a particular outcome or in presenting things in a particular way. This is the domain in which darkness has a chance to influence outcomes. It is the area of vulnerability produced by the fact that people are asleep or unaware in relation to what is going on so that the shaping of opinion is done silently, covertly, and is not perceived by most or not until much later on. One of the arenas in which this shaping of consciousness takes place is within American presidential campaigns.

More than a year before a presidential election, candidates begin to step into place to position themselves for the available political and financial support that is necessary in order to run a national campaign. Generally, they have begun this process long before this. It used to be that presidential campaigns were much shorter. However, over time, the influence of media has created a watchfulness and anticipation in relation to potential candidates that extends longer and longer into pre-campaign planning. This watchfulness has contributed greatly to the success or failure of candidates, especially in states where they are not well-known and where extensive media coverage is needed, as well as personal appearance, so that former 'unknowns' can become someone familiar.

Within presidential campaigns, the role of media has become as important as the content of a candidate's message – a message which may come to affect the lives of an entire nation. In any campaign, there is the content of a candidate's message, and there is the shape of that message. More and more in recent years, the shaping of a message has been handled by media experts who offer a package that includes forming, shaping, promoting, and assessing the impact of any message. This is a process that is costly, but perceived as necessary in order to create a sense within the public of being able to selectively choose between rivals in an electoral race.

There was a time in which content was given more weight than appearance, when debates actually took place, with those listening paying close attention to the positions being advocated and the principles behind them. This is in contrast to the focus, today, which is often on the way in which things are said, or the personal quality of charm or likeability that a candidate possesses. Aspects of personality and character have always been part of an electoral process, but they did not form the center. Today, they are at the center. And because they are at the center, a candidate in a presidential election must be presented to the public in as appealing a way as a movie star. The effect of every image-variable needs to be considered so that the public can receive the desired impression. This shift in focus is due to several factors – the first, and perhaps most important, being the complexity and multi-layered nature of most national issues today which do not allow for a clear-cut presentation of positions or approaches to problem solving; the second, the technological advances that have made media instantly accessible across the country so that literally nothing that a candidate does goes unnoticed.

All of the involvement of media with national campaigns involves a high cost to candidates. But the burgeoning cost is not only related to this. It is also related to the need that candidates have to travel across the country and back many, many times, hosting events and attending others in order to interact with the public, especially in key electoral states. This grueling process of meeting all who are essential to meet at local and state levels requires a great deal of stamina on a candidate's part. It also requires a great deal of money. And, in the competitive arena in which politics and personality have merged, if a rival candidate has become visible in states 1, 2, 3, and 4, then it is incumbent upon his competitors to also create a similar kind of visibility. In this way, more and more is being asked of candidates in terms of making personal appearances, because the standard for what is possible during an election campaign has been raised in order to create greater positive publicity for those who choose to run.

Let us not forget that there is another way that one could conceive of and run a national campaign. It is the way of integrity and of focus. It relies on communicating more about issues and less about personalities, and it also involves reducing media's role in campaigns and therefore the amount of campaign spending. Such a campaign could take place in a much shorter space of time with far less cost to all concerned. Instead of taking years, it could be undertaken within one year, with primaries, whose dates are variable, more closely spaced together (See note). These changes would not allow each candidate to do all that is presently being done with respect to creating a public image. Instead, there would need to be more content-focused debates between candidates, and the public would need to reflect more, employing both reason and intuition, and to rely on appearance less, in order to be responsive to such discussions. Furthermore, if the stature of the presidency remained one of honor, leadership, and accountability – more in line with those who act on behalf of their constituency rather than as a separate entity, then both the glamour and the risk involved in electing a President could be less.

Becoming aware and using one's vote wisely is the responsibility of democracy and part of what it means to be a citizen. Were campaigns shorter and more focused, less reliant on celebrity and more on content, we would see a different kind of democracy in action when it came time to elect a new president. And because the cost of running such a campaign would be less, many more qualified people would be able to enter the public arena with their own ideas and visions for the future, enabling this country to more truly become a representative democracy, in keeping with its historical, constitutional, and spiritual foundation.


Note: In relation to presidential primaries, dates are established by each state and are subject to change. Currently, primaries take place between Jan. and May of the election year.

"Establishing the date for a Presidential primary, and determining the type of Presidential primary held, varies from state to state. This is due to differences in state statutes, party constitutions, party rules and regulations, party by-laws, and delegate selection plans. In some states, a caucus and/or convention may be held instead of a Presidential primary election. Other states may use a combination of both caucuses and primaries for delegate selection."

From: "2000 Presidential Primary Dates" – Federal Election Commission

The importance of supporting our troops with care packages

The troops fighting overseas in Iraq are caught up in the middle of a terrible war, which is getting worse and worse every day. More and more American troops are getting hurt and killed daily. The worst part about this war is that our enemy is too much of a coward to fight face to face; they have to use suicide bombs to do their damage. Since this is the case, our troops have to stay on guard and keep their eyes open at all times. Keeping up your guard twenty four hours a day can really take a toll on your psyche. The only thing that keeps these troops going is the hope of returning home, and the memories that they have of their loved ones. Our troops need to know that we love them and care about them and are very thankful for the job they are doing in Iraq. The best way we can support our troops is by sending them care packages. Care packages can be a wide variety of things from food, to a letter, to items that remind them of home.

If you would like to warm a troop’s heart you can bake some brownies, or make one of your favorite dishes. Then you can package this up and send it overseas so that the troops can get a small taste of home. Food is very good at raising the morale of troops while they are away at war. If you do not have time to cook something, or you would rather give the troops some inspiring words then you can just write them a letter. Whether it is a poem, some funny jokes you heard, or just a thank you, our troops would love to hear from you, because it reminds them what they are fighting for. Another thing you can do to support our troops is sending them some items that they might want or need from America. If you have a little extra money and you would like to send them a CD or something like that, you could really raise their spirits with a small gift. No matter what you have time or money to do, you can make a difference in a troop’s day and maybe get them through a tough time during their service overseas.

The marius reforms

The next major change in the army took place at the end of the 2nd century B. C. when Gaius Marius was elected Consul, placing him in command of the Roman army. Ceaseless attacks from the Germanic tribes forced large armies to be raised to defend Rome. However, just with Cannibal in the beginning, the legions suffered defeat after defeat, and the number of “legal” men (men who owned land) to be recruited was dwindling. Most had already fought and died or else was still fighting the Germanic tribes. In this emergency, Marius had no choice but to break the norm and devise a new recruitment method. Thus, the Marius Reforms took place. They were a serious of reforms that helped professionalize the Roman army and make a more efficient, uniform fighting force. It also greatly affected the citizens and society of Rome, mostly due to the new recruitment method.

Because land owners available for recruitment were dwindling to dangerously low numbers, he offered the general masses a chance to join his army. This included the jobless, poor, and uneducated in Rome and surrounding provinces and cities. With a solid financial structure that ensured payment and wages, war spoils, as well as retirement benefits he gave the “mob” of Rome a chance to earn money, land, a job, and a life worth living.

As Marius offered employment to anyone who was willing to fight, he also introduced something that was lacking in the previous army and would eventually become very important in the coming years: extreme loyalty. Before, the army consisted of landowners and farmers who were forced to serve for six years and longer if they wished. Of course, they wanted to get back to their wives, families, and land. Now, the legions consisted of the landless, and jobless (with of course, some wealthy), and service was increased to 20-25 years or longer. The army was now looked upon as a lifelong career, and was mostly an all volunteer army, except in times of emergency.

In the Pre-Marius times, the soldiers might have been loyal to the general, but were really fighting for the survival of Rome, their lands, and their families. Now, the troops were extremely loyal to the Legate, as Marius encouraged a strong bond between the troops and the General. Though the immediate effects of a loyal army to the general may not have been seen, it had major impacts on the Roman society during the next several centuries. Eventually, the army itself had a role in selecting emperors. They, along with the generals, commanded more influence than many of the emperors and senators. During the civil war period, the loyalty of the army to the general was very important in the eventual taking of Rome by Octavian (or better known as Augustus) and setting himself up as the first emperor of the Roman Empire.

Stock research republican congress in hot seat

If the Republican Party is able to hold onto its majority in both the House and the Senate in the coming elections, it will be because of the ineptness of the Democrats. The Democrats have become a party without ideas, with an ideology that hasn’t worked in years, and I am not hopeful that it will work in the immediate future.

At the same time we must recognize the notion of ACCOUNTABILITY. In my work managing money, I have to go back decades to understand certain companies and their institutional cultures. The same thing is true in politics. Yes, we have had scandals before. I remember vividly Lyndon Johnson and Bobby Baker, and John Kennedy and his German mistress who supposedly worked for the East German secret police, the Stasi.

There’s something about POWER. The historians tell you that “POWER CORRUPTS, and ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY”. The greatest compliment you can pay our country is to recognize that we settle things in the voting booth. When the voting booth can’t settle it as in the Presidential election in 2000 in Florida, the courts settle it. In the 2000 contested election, it was the Supreme Court of the United States that settled it. In most countries of the world, they settle things with a gun, or several guns, or better yet, the military settles things with a coup. Our way is far superior, always has been, always will be.

There is something in the air that’s different this time. I am a conservative by nature. I have been since Barry Goldwater ran for the Presidency in 1964. I believe in minimizing government intervention in people’s lives because I believe that the government contributes very little in the end to the human condition. They take, but create nothing. They do very few things well, and overpay vastly for what they do provide. An example is $225 per day, per soldier, to Halliburton to feed our troops in Iraq. You and I can eat in the finest restaurants for that amount of money. Only a government can spend money like that.

What I am mostly disturbed by is the vanity, conceit, and complete disregard for the rest of us that this government has shown. We have a President that needs to spy on its own citizens in the name of national security, but finds no requisite need for oversight. The key here is OVERSIGHT. I happen to know that there are federal judges who sit in the FBI headquarters every day, whose sole job is to sign off on the government’s need to record conversations. The same procedure could very easily be implemented by the CIA, and NSA, but nobody wanted it. They obviously thought of it, but didn’t want it. When governments work in secret, the tyranny we seek to end overseas visits us right here. Our founding fathers fought against it and so should we.

We have a war in Iraq where we are all part of the dance NOW. The President has put forth no objectives for determining when we can get out. Is it a national police force of 150,000 Iraqis before we can get out, or an army of 300,000 Iraqi troops before we can go? We are now stuck in a war without end, without even the hint of an end, and we are suffering a slow death attrition to our troops.

It’s just the kind of thing that Americans HATE, a war fought without objectives, just sucking up money, resources, and the flower of our youth. It’s all in the name of nothing really. I say this because you either have clearly defined objectives in war or you have chaos. This President has chosen chaos. Sometimes I think this is Vietnam all over again, doesn’t anybody ever learn from history? Bush has degrees from Yale and Harvard, and didn’t learn a dam thing apparently, except how to spend money. You know, I couldn’t wait for Clinton to get out of office, and now I wonder if his wife isn’t such a bad idea.

The Congress spends billions likes its play money, and doesn’t even tax the citizens to do it. Instead they borrow the money, spend it and then owe the debt to Europeans, Japan, and China by continuing to build up the national debt. I haven’t checked this number in years, but I would be willing to bet that between 80% and 90% of the total national debt has been built up by the Republicans who call themselves the party of fiscal responsibility.

Maybe I am just getting older, but I am getting far more cynical as the years go by and more liberal too, but it’s not the liberal’s definition of liberal. Barry Goldwater taught me that abortion rights are a woman’s decision, not 9 old people sitting on a Supreme Court. There should be a separation of church and state as provided by the constitution. If deeply religious people in this country want to vote, than they absolutely should vote and participate in the political process, just like everybody else. Recognize that this country was founded by good hardworking people who left their rigid religious societies for something a lot better. We call it America.

Now when I sit back and look at this Republican dominated Congress, I find it pathetic. The majority leader Tom Delay had to resign in disgrace. The House Speaker, Denny Hastert is totally asleep at the switch over information he received, didn’t received, received, and then didn’t receive over the gay Congressman’s escapades. Why is it that it’s all right to be a gay Democratic Congressman (aka Barney Frank), but you can’t be a gay Republican Congressman (aka Mark Foley). Republicans are in the closet about it, and Democrats are screaming it out loud.

The Democrats should be running on one issue and one issue only, “HAD ENOUGH”, forget about it’s time for a change. It’s time for a revolution. I could very easily see the Republicans getting wiped in this election, losing both houses in fact, and then in essence making this current President impotent. How much more damage can President Bush do if he faces a hostile Congress. He could propose whatever he wanted to propose but if the Democrats control the Congress, and won’t FUND IT, the game is over.

This scenario would not be much better than the horror show currently on stage, but you must hold the politicians in power ACCOUNTABLE, and nobody has done that in six years. Maybe I was better off when my party was on the outs, and I could at least fantasize how much better things would be when, and if we got into power. My fantasies have turned into a nightmare with these people in office who are not MY REPUBLICANS, and then there’s Donald Rumsfeld, but that’s another story.

Drug rehab views afghanistan s opium poppy industry is blooming

The worldwide illicit drugs business is by far the most profitable illicit global trade, says the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), earning some $320 billion annually. Compared to this, human trafficking at $32 billion and illegal firearms at $1 billion are a drop in the bucket. Afghanistan, producing 92% of the world’s illegal opium from its miles and miles of poppy farms, is by far the world’s largest contributor to the production of illicit heroin and morphine. For millions of addicts around the world, the dark force from Afghanistan that rules their lives can only be overcome through drug rehab.

Not surprisingly, no one has come up with a workable idea on how to stop it. The problem is that the chain of “narcodollars” reaches from the poppy farms all the way to the highest levels of Afghanistan’s government, with the Taliban insurgents in the mix in a very big way. At $3.1 billion, the opium trade is the equivalent of a third of the country’s total economy. Last year’s 6,100 tons of opium was worth $60 billion at street prices, and this year an even larger crop is expected.

As well as keeping the drug barons rich, the drug trade has affected Afghanistan’s citizenry in an unexpected and very negative way. Historically, poppy farmers and citizens rarely used the drugs personally. Today, according to UN reports, thousands of Afghani’s are abusing the drugs and becoming addicted, and desperately need drug rehab. But the country doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure to support drug rehab facilities.

As for solutions, the U. S. is pushing for crop spraying and destruction. But thousands of farmers will be out of work and penniless. Replacing poppies with other crops won’t work because there’s no distribution system for exporting produce. Others are suggesting the opium trade be legitimized and production redirected for medicines. But the health industry won’t pay street prices to drug barons, so that probably won’t fly.

Meanwhile, here in America we continue to deal with street drug crime and lives being ruined through opiate addiction. Until a solution is found to stop the supplies of drugs from around the world, we can try to prevent addiction by our own example and through effective education. And we must care for those who suffer addiction with successful drug rehab programs that really work.

U. s. marines - a strong history of bravery and service

The United States Marines are a highly specialized branch of the U. S. Military, known for their rapid deployment and amphibious warfare abilities. The mission of the Marines is triple-pronged; to defend or seize naval bases and other land operations as needed, to develop equipment and tactics that will advance the capabilities of amphibious landing forces, and to perform other duties as directed by the President.

Created on November 10, 1775 as the Continental Marines, this small force originally consisted of infantry soldiers who served aboard naval vessels, defending the ship, engaging in combat during landing and boarding actions, and manning any raiding parties.

Having been involved in every armed American military conflict since, the force quickly evolved. During the War of 1812, Marines participated in frequent frigate battles, which were some of the first American victories in this eventually lost conflict. Though they still fought, the Marine forces experienced decline and disorganization in the latter part of the 19th century.

It wasn't until the Spanish-American War of 1898 that the Marines entered what is often considered their formative years. During the conflict, Marines were responsible for leading forces ashore and were able to demonstrate their invaluable ability to deploy quickly. This was when the Marines seized Guatanamo Bay, a base still used today by the United States Navy.

The Marines continued to play a crucial role in the first World War, and would capture America's imagination and pride in the Pacific battles of World War II. Marines were absolutely essential to the success of difficult island battles such as Tarawa, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima, a seize made famous by the infamous flag-raising photograph that is so often used as a symbol of victory and military commitment.

Today, Marines are very focused on infantry development. Their philosophy emphasizes the importance of close combat, rather than depending solely on strategic bombing or more distance-oriented battle. Prized for their ability to deploy rapidly, their loyalty, and their proud traditions, the United States Marines are an integral part of the United States' Department of Defense.

Finally secrets behind old glory revealed

If you are an American and grew up attending school in the United States, you were taught the lesson of how Betsy Ross sewed together the first American flag in 1776. But how many recall exactly what the stripes, the stars and the colors represent?

Believe it or not, the colors red, white, and blue didn’t have any significance when the flag was adopted in 1777. The Continental Congress actually passed a resolution on July 4, 1776 which authorized a committee to come up with a seal for the United States of America. That committee was instructed to create a design that reflected the Founding Fathers' beliefs of values and independence for the new Nation. It wasn’t until the seal was completed and approved on June 20, 1782 that the national colors and symbols on the American flag had any defined meaning. The explanation for the flag’s design, taken from a book written by the House of Representatives during that time, is as follows:

* The Stripes – White to denote purity and innocence – Red to represent hardiness and valor

* The Field – Blue for vigilance, perseverance and justice

* The Star - “…a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun."

In 1777, the number of stripes was congressionally mandated to stand at thirteen to represent the original thirteen colonies, however, designs throughout America still varied greatly. A hero of the War of 1812 and Naval Officer named Samuel Chester Reid got together with New York Congressman Peter H. Wendover in 1818 and initiated a bill to establish uniformity for the design of the American flag. Samuel Reid was the person who actually suggested that stars be added as new states were admitted into the Union. That bill was passed on April 4, 1818.

Over the years, there have been twenty-seven versions of the flag. The current design dates to July 4, 1960, when Hawaii became the United States of America’s 50th state.

You should fly your flag from sunrise to sunset, especially on suggested holidays and any additional state and local holidays, but only if weather permits:

New Year's Day, January 1 * Inauguration Day, January 20 * Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, 3rd Mon in Jan * Lincoln's Birthday, February 12 * Washington's Birthday, 3rd Mon in Feb * Patriots Day, * Armed Forces Day, 3rd Sat in May * Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), last Mon in May Flag Day, June 14 * Independence Day, July 4th * Labor Day, 1st Mon in Sep

Constitution Day, September 17 * Columbus Day, October 12th * Navy Day, October 27 * Veterans Day, November 11 * Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thu in November.

Six years later a failed presidency

President Bush came into office with great promise, and the reality has been one failure after another, and this is coming from a writer who was a conservative Republican before the President knew what the term meant. Let’s use former President Ronald Reagan’s requirements for a successful Presidency. Do you remember the last debate between then President Jimmy Carter and candidate Reagan? The former Republican Governor of California asked the American people in closing if they thought they were better off today in 1980, than they were when President Carter took office four years earlier in January of 1977. The following Tuesday, the American people threw the failed President from Georgia out of office in a landslide.

Here we are now six years into another Presidency, and the only thing that I believe has been successful about this Presidency is the fact that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is somewhat above the same level it was in 2000 when this President was elected. Let’s look at a few of the big issues this President has faced and to which he has reacted poorly in resolving.

1) The tragedy of 9/11 – Six years later, Osama Bin Laden the direct murderer of almost 3000 Americans remains FREE, and unencumbered by the United States military. Do we still have military units assigned to hunting him down? There is not a word in the press about it if we do.

2) Making America SAFER in response to terrorism – Do you really believe we are safer? I for one believe that no American passenger airplane will ever be taken hostage again by terrorists. I believe this only because of the American passengers on board who will react immediately to a hostage situation, not because of the marshal program but because Americans still remember how to defend themselves, and they will. As for planes crashing into buildings, do you really think all those FED EX, UPS, and US Postal Service planes are secure? Do you think private corporate aircraft are secure? What about the tens of thousands of private airplanes in America?

Recently a private airplane in NY flew up the East River, made a U-Turn and crashed into an apartment building on the East Side of Manhattan. Nobody realized what was going on until the crash occurred. As a result the government has not banned flights up the East River. It’s kind of late, don’t you think?

3)The Docks are not safe – How difficult would it be for a terrorist group to sneak a low yield nuclear weapon into this country aboard one of the tens of thousands of merchant transport ships that bring cargo into this country each year? Only a small percentage of the cargo is inspected.

4) Subway and Bus System still completely exposed – The terrorist acts in Madrid and London in the last several years exposed flaws in our own public transportation systems that have not been addressed. Do you really think that terrorists carrying backpacks with explosives in them would have any problem getting on a NYC bus or subway car, and committing their insane acts?

5) Hurricane Katrina – This terrible tragedy exposed government ineptness, and lack of responsiveness. There were bodies of American citizens floating down the Mississippi River in the streets of New Orleans, and this is the 21st century. FEMA which is the Federal Emergency Management Association proved to be completely incapable of handling, or even helping in this crisis. Do you really believe that these inadequacies have been addressed? If chemical or biological warfare were used against the United States by terrorists, do you think that we would have anything approaching an adequate response to such an attack? I don’t believe it.

6) Initial Iraq decision making process – You have got to be kidding us, Mr. President. We know in retrospect that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein posed no direct threat to America. In other words, he was not going to attack us. The basis for the war was in error, and I personally supported it. We have wasted 3000 American lives during the invasion, and 3000 subsequent to the invasion in ERROR, plus 30,000 men who have been injured including terrible losses of their limbs.

7) Post Invasion decision making - Wow, could it really have been worse? Could the people reporting to the President have done a poorer job in post war Iraq, if they had wanted to? We had the unnecessary disbanding of the Iraqi army, to the throwing out of the Sunni civil servants that knew how to run the day to day government operations. We then installed the Shia civil servants who had not run the government in several hundred years. The whole thing was a series of colossal, could have been ANTICIPATED mistakes. Our window of opportunity to do the right thing has now passed. The American electorate has lost its patience with this President, and this war. Our options are running out, and there is no good ending in site for us.

8) Largest deficits in American history – You have got to be kidding when this man calls himself a conservative President. There is nothing conservative whatsoever about his spending policies. He has systematically outspent every one of his predecessors in history to the tune of trillions of dollars. He has not vetoed one Congressional spending act – first time in history. His prescription drug bill for seniors is costing almost $50 billion dollars per year more than it should because he included overpayments to drug companies, and created unnecessary giveaways to insurance companies to act as intermediaries in the program. Who would have believed that a Republican President would do such a thing?

9) Tax policies that don’t make sense – I believe in the lowest rate of taxation possible. I do not believe that you cut taxes for the rich in a time of deficit, borrow the money from Japan, China, and Europe to fund the deficits, and then send tax refund checks to the richest 2 percent of the population with the borrowed funds. Furthermore, I do not believe that the very rich in our society believe you should do this either. Yet, that’s what the President has done, an act of fiscal irresponsibility at best, and insanity at worst.

You figure it out for yourself. Look at the above and it equals a failed Presidency. All of this from a man who has never once consulted his father as to what he should do about Iraq. Both men have stated that they have not talked about it. This is a President that still can’t talk about issues, or give even a minor speech without READING the entire prewritten document. He is that uncomfortable in his own skin. How will we survive another two years of this kind of leadership?

Contemplating the assassination of diana princess of wales ten years later

Diana, Princess of Wales, died on August 31, 1997. Ten years after her death, I can easily recall what I was doing when the news first started to trickle in. Since sleep and I haven’t been friends for many years, I was in and out of bed and finally decided to watch some television. As I flipped through the channels, I noticed dark scenes with lots of flashing lights from emergency vehicles on most of the news channels and paused to find out what was going on. Text running across the bottom of the screen told the tale. Diana, Princess of Wales, was in some sort of automobile accident. The fact that she was with Dodi Al-Fayed at the time made it an even bigger news story.

After her divorce from Charles, Diana became the darling of millions of Brits and others that sympathized with her former situation. Most felt she received the cold shoulder from the Royal Family and was merely a trophy wife for Charles as he secretly desired and sought after Carmilla Parker Bowles. Public interest in Diana peaked when she began dating Dodi Al-Fayed and their relationship was the constant topic of every tabloid publication and entertainment news broadcast in those days.

As the minutes passed after I found about the accident, more details became available. The incident occurred in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris. Dodi and the driver of the vehicle had been killed instantly. Diana initially survived the accident, but went into cardiac distress on the way to the hospital. Despite all attempts to save her life, the princess was declared dead at around four in the morning.

As if on cue, the photographers that hounded Diana and Dodi on motorbikes and in cars became instant suspects. Blame flew everywhere and almost every channel on television was covering the story. The French Police were quick to take action by questioning the Paparazzi that followed the couple and those that were at the hotel where Dodi and Diana were staying. Stories circulated about photographers that took photos of Diana in the smashed vehicle instead of offering assistance or notifying the emergency services. They became instead scapegoats whether they deserved it or not.

Less than a month before the tragedy, my wife and I were talking about Diana. The conversation was inspired by a report about her shown on television. It featured some video of the Princess vacationing with Dodi Al-Fayed and wearing skimpy bathing suits. I commented to my wife that Diana wouldn’t be alive much longer. It was not a psychic prediction, nor a wish for some harm to come to her. It was merely an observation based on my years of experience as a UFO Researcher and Paranormal Investigator.

I always believed that if you wanted to find a bone, the best way to do so would be to follow the dog that buried it. After years of watching public officials, federal departments and intelligence services cover-up and distort information about UFOs, I knew that the U. S. and British Governments had a common goal above all others. That goal is bureaucratic survival. No single issue, problem or person would ever be allowed to bring down those governments or the behind the scenes Powers supporting them. The Assassinations of JFK and RFK were proof and practical examples of that fact.

While it’s impossible to point a finger of blame for planning Diana’s death at any specific person, agency or government entity, you didn’t have to be Nostradmus to know that Diana’s behavior was quickly moving from being naughty to unacceptable in the eyes of those responsible for maintaining the status quo of the British Government. Although she was divorced from Prince Charles, the long-standing implications of any affair, relationship, remarriage or additional births involving Diana probably gave a lot of important people in England the same kind of sleep problems that I had. It could also move anyone with the power to do something about Diana from being reactive to proactive.

As far as Diana was concerned, the British people were with her. They loved her and seemed to understand her need to get Charles and the Queen off her back. That belief was her undoing. People are notoriously fickle. Just a year after her death a huge charity was planned to commemorate her death and support her causes. A fortune was spent on promotions and everyone knew it was coming, but there were few takers. The tears dried and the public moved on. She mistook admiration for adoration. People might have admired her for standing up to Charles and seeking justice, but many still adored the Queen and felt that having a Royal Family in the UK provided an economic, political and social comfort zone.

Diana’s divorce left her with the title, Diana, Princess of Wales. Although she was not an HRH, a remarried Diana would be a major embarrassment to the royal line if Prince William eventually became King. That situation might upset the delicate balancing act that constitutes the British system of government enough to require a complete overhaul. That overhaul would almost certainly include the further limiting or complete abolishment of the English Throne. Any discussion of that kind would probably bring about instability in Britain and other Commonwealth Nations. Those weighing the life of Diana against political, social and economic consistency in the UK and elsewhere would probably feel themselves backed into a corner.

I’m certain that all of the media coverage of Diana and Dodi that summer before her death proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Every time a photo of Diana appeared in the press showing her in various stages of undress with Dodi, the resolve of those with the power to end her life was probably strengthened. Someone decided she and Dodi had to go and that was that. A surviving Dodi would be a wildcard that no one wanted to bet with or on.

When Diana decided to marry Charles, she made a decision for life. Believing she could marry the future King of England, give birth to his heirs, divorce him and simply move on to greener pastures was naпve at best. Governments have become huge entities that place their own survival above those that elect the people who are supposed to represent their best interests. They are monstrosities that will gladly chew up and spit out anyone or anything that gets in their way. Not understanding those facts probably condemned Diana to an early death.

Ten years after her death (or assassination), nothing has been happened to alter my belief that Diana was murdered to protect the British Throne and system of government. Although most people will remember the Princess of Wales for her charity and kindness, her death should be a constant reminder that we have all unwitting accomplishes in a worldwide conspiracy infecting many nations. While the politicians have us all at each other’s throats and remove the few freedoms we possess by piecemeal, we fret over who is or isn’t in power as if it really matters anymore.

Read more at http://Conspiracy. CanYouStandTheTruth. com

China is really number two

China's coming on strong while our leaders chase the terrorists across the globe.

Recently much international press fanfare was generated acknowledging that China had replaced Great Britain as the world's fourth largest economy.

Nobody argues nowadays that China has the highest growth rate of industrialized economics posting annual growth rates in excess of 8.5 percent according to The International Monetary Fund. The World Bank predicted recently that China's economy will grow 10.4 percent this year and 9.3 percent in 2007.

In contrast, the United States is in the 2 to 3 percent range.

What's not been said by our less than candid leaders is that China is already the second largest global economy and has held that spot for sometime and catching the U. S. very quickly. The Chinese economy is already 72 percent the size of the U. S. economy.

One only need reference the 2006 CIA World Factbook. There it is for the whole world to see.

A country's economic output is measured, and compared to other countries, by a standard known as GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, which is measured in two ways, one by international exchanges rates and by purchase power parity.

Exchange rates are the norm used by most private and public international agencies. But more recently experts have suggested that international exchanges rates distort the true picture.

Value distortions exist between the currencies of the trading nations, in particular, when currencies are something less than free-floating in the open market.

The Chinese Yuan is mostly a fixed-rate currency pegged to the value of the U. S. Dollar. The exchange value is only changed by Chinese government, a little at a time generally to appease the U. S. Congress. Therefore GDP figures between the two nations are distorted.

Countries with free trading currencies can safely use exchange rates as a measure of comparison between their respective GDP's. In the absence of free trading, purchase power parity is used as the standard of comparison.

Purchasing power parity equalizes the purchasing power of different currencies in their home countries for a given basket of goods. This is often used by global economists, and our CIA, to compare the economic output countries.

The difference in an exchange rate and purchase power parity analysis of the China GDP is nothing less than astonishing and should be downright frightening to American leaders.

For example, on an exchange rate basis, the CIA World Factbook estimates China's GDP to be $2.225 trillion. On a purchase power parity basis that figure is $8.859 trillion. In comparison the U. S. shows an economy of $12.49 trillion based on exchange rates and $12.36 trillion based on purchase power parity.

Based on exchange rates, China is the 4th largest economy in the world. But based on purchase power parity China is clearly number 2.

And the Factbook acknowledges, Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, China in 2005 stood as the second-largest economy in the world after the US....

Noted magazine, The Economist reported, By 2020, China will narrowly outstrip the United States in GDP.

China already exceeds the U. S. in production of many strategic minerals and metals. And its industrial base is now larger as well. According to the Factbook China's industrial output now stands at 4.19 trillion dollars as compared to 2.52 Trillion for the United States. Chinese annual industrial growth is 29.5 percent but only 3.5 percent here in the U. S.

Another significant trend worth noting is leadership in world trade. A recent Wall Street Journal article written by Andrew Batson and Shai Oster reports that Egypt's trade with the China will exceed that of the United States by the year 2012. And this trend is evolving with many countries, even in our own hemisphere.

America's eroding industrial base is compromising the nation's military capabilities. This was recently highlighted in the Pentagon's 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review when it concluded, Sourcing and production is now global, with considerable implications for the industrial base.

This same Defense Department study raised alarm bells about China when it concluded, the industrial and economic power wielded by China, and how this relates to the country's political and military aspirations, is seen as a cause for concern.

But our leaders already know this stuff. They just need to level with the American people instead of spoon feeding them statistical manure.

Soon we will be Number Two.

And let's not forget the echo of Khrushchev's thundering UN speech 50 years ago declaring the East will overrun the West.

It's happening before are very eyes.

18 in 08 gets my vote

On October 1, I had the privilege to come to Rutgers to see a screening of 18 in '08, a documentary produced by David Burstein, a Haverford College freshman. The documentary's purpose: to get out the youth (18 to 24 year-old) vote and tell politicians how to make it happen.

Burstein and friends interviewed over 60 elected and former office-holders: Congressmen, Senators, Governors, mayors, state legislations and Presidential candidates, as well as activists, campus leaders, journalists and political consultants — but thankfully, only one celebrity — Richard Dreyfuss. If Burstein, et al. had to include a celebrity, Dreyfuss was an excellent choice; in Mr. Holland's Opus, he played a music teacher beloved by more than two generations of high school students.

18 in '08 is not a "Rock the Vote" appeal to youth. It includes the words of many current students and recent graduates of varied political persuasions; that makes it more real-life to college audiences than celebrity appeals. 18 in ’08 does an excellent job of explaining the obstacles to youth voting, which included:

• The right to vote is under-appreciated and taken for granted. Passed by Congress, the 18-year-old vote was signed into law by President Nixon in 1971. It was, oddly enough, a reaction to young people's complaints that if they were old enough to be drafted into the military service, they were old enough to vote.

• Politics offers little in the way of immediate gratification; you have to be involved or hold public office for a long time before you can achieve tangible accomplishments.

• Recent high school graduates, college students and recent college graduates are experiencing dramatic changes in their lives, such as a change in schools or move from school to work, so they lack the time to get involved or become more informed about political issues.

• Hassles in the absentee ballot process. College students and military personnel stationed far from home are not given clear information or direction on how to register to vote, or complete their ballot.

• Candidates talk down to young voters, or appear disinterested in "mainstream" issues such as terrorism, foreign affairs and affordable health care; younger voters are just as interested in these issues as their parents are.

• Young people do not believe that politicians are "interested" in them as voters, or as a voting bloc; some feel the two major parties ignore them, so therefore, an appeal to register by one party or the other means nothing.

Most amazing, this short (15-20 minute) documentary was directed and produced by a 16 year old; he and his friends believed strongly enough in the right to vote to contact and collect all of these interviews before they were old enough to vote. Burstein took a year off between high school and college to complete the project; it's a major sacrifice to delay personal life plans for personal convictions.

The hosts at Rutgers' Eagleton Institute of Politics had gathered some useful facts about the youth vote in the 2004 Presidential Election to complement Burstein's presentation. Most interesting was that 87 percent of students, registered voters, successfully cast a ballot on Election Day, while 13 percent tried to vote but were unable to or did not attempt to vote at all.

On a more positive note, 63 percent of students said they voted because they believed it was their duty as citizens. I hope this number increases; according to Young Voter Strategies, a non-partisan project at the George Washington University, potential Millennial Voters, ages 18-38 will become one-third of the U. S. electorate by 2015. It seems contradictory for a generation known to resist authority (positively and negatively) and challenge convention to leave the decision about 'who governs' to their elders.

I don't know if this was one of Burstein's intentions, but 18 in '08 made me realize that a career in politics progresses as swiftly as other paths. Elected officials and campaigns are chock full of activists, managers, researchers and opinion leaders under 30, especially in leadership positions.

Young elected leaders also have a history of advancement to higher office. According to my Rutgers' hosts, of the 19 men who served as President of the United States during the twentieth century, 12 held their first elective office at age 35 or younger. The same is true for 57 of the 100 men and women in the U. S. Senate in 2003 as well as 215 of the 435 members of the U. S. House and 25 of the 50 governors holding office that year.

Taking those numbers to heart, politics is a young person's game. That makes it more surprising that candidates have such a difficult time attracting more enthusiasm from young people; they have staff more than capable of designing the right message.

Watch 18 in '08; you'll see this is a challenge for political leaders of all persuasions; candidates have more control over an apathetic electorate than an active one, but all of the office holders who appeared in 18 in '08 preferred an electorate that was active and engaged. Party and ideology didn’t matter. Everyone felt the same.

If you're a parent, order a CD of the film at the 18 in '08 website (the url is 18in08 dot com). Watch it with your young voters. You won't need to persuade them to register to vote. They'll do it on their own accord.

Tips for running for local office

What do you need to win a race for a local office? Yes there are photo sessions, lots of handshakes, victory speeches, and hype. Yet what makes running for political office a success are not only those. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that shows off in front of the voters giving you their trust, and eventually, their vote. Let’s look at a few things you can do to improve your chances and make it a worthwhile effort to run for your local political office.

Find out the Requirements

There is more to politics than what meets the eye; start with doing your homework properly, check the requirements of the position you want to run for and see if you are eligible.

Build Votes on Your Actions

There can be times when people just get off their daily lives and run for a local election and win easy, those are instances that are too rare to invest in. If you intend to ever have a political ounce in your body, be sure to build your image beforehand. Get involved with organizations, education programs, and local societies. See what people are interested in and get down to the issues.

Career Decisions

Before you jump into the political life, be sure it is what you want. Will you withstand the pressure that ensues or do you mind people talking about your personal life like their breakfast cereal? If you do, think again, you will end up wanting them to talk of you, but just the good stuff.

Personal grooming

Looks don’t count when we talk about knowledge and the ability to solve the people’s problems but anyone with political know-how will tell you that good looks, a beautiful wife and cute kids do matter. Your family is the projection of your ‘human’ side, use it well and make the people associate it with you.

Learn to Smile

Sure it could be covered under the grooming section but it is too important to have a good smile, and a ready wit to bundle it with other things. People want to see an assured leader but they also want someone who has a sense of humor. People want someone who talks of serious things with a demeanor of a problem solver yet is still one who can still smile and laugh.

Know your Opponent

‘Know Thyself’ is the popular phrase, but in politics it is just as important to know your opponent. Homework comes in again; keep a track of your opponent’s weaknesses and find out if there is something your opponent wants to keep hidden, it is virtually 99% of the time something that would throw his voters off and you have everything to gain.

Bury your Weaknesses Deep

It is a two way game though; you have to know when to shut up too. Surely there are going to be times when your have the dirt on your opponent but never get close to what your opponent might get on you. If you have something to hide, you should play the elections clean and to your strengths instead of your opponent’s weaknesses.

The Media

Newspaper media, radio and television are all your friends. If they are not, make them so. You can not visit every home personally for them to meet you; chances are though that newspapers, radio or television transmissions are watched in every home in your jurisdiction. Be at your very best when the camera points to you. Make sure to know the right answers, stammering in the face of questions is quite the campaign killer.

Catchphrases and gestures that win people over and even quotes from the greats are wonderful public campaigning material, and as such, things you should practice before you speak. It is also a great asset for any politician to be quotable. Use short and pithy sentences, give them meaning and yet do not overburden them so the meaning is not lost,. After all, people do want to understand you.

Campaign Organizers and Advisers

It is always helpful to have people who know how to run a campaign around you. Surely your friends and family can help you at the local level but just be sure to think things through while you are planning; that can be the difference between a haphazard campaign and a meticulous one.

Elections at any level require funds; work out your fund raising techniques. What slogans can you work with? Make friends with your catchphrases; work on local issues with local communities that would be happy to lend you a hand if you are able to project their cause well enough.

Plus, campaign posters and signs are an important part of your drive as well, make sure you get enough exposure before the voting commences that you are a household name people recognize…and finally, did we say use family, friends and their friends too? Do that!

Human-made monsters

Humans made monsters by inhuman treatment abound in literature. In "The Man Who Laughs", published in 1869, the French author, Victor Hugo (1802-1885), described the comprachicos thus:

"The comprachicos (child buyers) were strange and hideous nomads in the 17th century. They made children into sideshow freaks. To succeed in producing a freak one must get hold of him early; a dwarf must be started when he is small. They stunted growth, they mangled features. It was an art/science of inverted orthopedics. Where nature had put a straight glance, this art put a squint. Where nature had put harmony, they put deformity and imperfection. The child was not aware of the mutilation he had suffered. This horrible surgery left traces on his face, not in his mind. During the operation the little patient was unconscious by means of a stupefying magic powder.

In China since time immemorial, they have achieved refinement in a special art and industry: the molding of living man. One takes a child two or three years old and puts them into a grotesquely shaped porcelain vase. It is without cover or bottom, so the head and feet protrude. In the daytime the vase is upright, at night it is laid down so the child can sleep. Thus the child slowly fills the contours of the vase with compressed flesh and twisted bones. This bottled development continues for several years. At a certain point, it becomes an irreparable monster. Then the vase is broken and one has a man in the shape of a pot."

The Kyrgyz writer, Chingiz Aitmatov (or Aytmatov) (1928 - ) recounts in "The Day Lasts More than One Hundred Years" (1980) the legend of the Ana-Beiit cemetery and the zombies known as "mankurts".

According to tradition, the nomad Zhuan’zhuan, shaved the heads of the younger and more fit prisoners of war and wrapped their skulls in raw camel hide. The prisoners were then left to shrivel in the desert's scorching sun, without food or water. As the caps shrank around their heads, they perished in terrible agony. The survivors completely lost their memory. Their subsequent submissiveness and loyalty made them ten times more valuable than a regular slave and three times as precious as a free man (in terms of pecuniary damages when accidentally killed).

Tony blair turkey eu and cyprus

The stalling of US and UK ambitions for Turkey to become a member of the EU during December 2006 has presented a challenge for Tony Blair during his sunset period as British Prime Minister.

Turkey is a longstanding member of NATO, and was actively supported by successive US administrations during the Cold War with the USSR, due to its strategic location. After the collapse of communism, Turkey assumed a new importance as a model for a secular and democratic Muslim state. In addition, its boundaries with Syria, Iraq and Iran place it adjacent to several ‘axis of evil’ states.

It is well known that the US wished to use Turkey as a launch pad for invading Northern Iraq, but this request was refused. However, the Incirlik airbase in south east Turkey remains in US use, although this receives little publicity. What is less well known is that the US has made several overtures for Turkey to join the coalition forces currently occupying Iraq. Following the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, the Bush administration has signalled a new strategy for Iraq and the inclusion of Turks in the multinational force would be a major achievement. Although this is unlikely to happen, the proposal has been seriously considered in Ankara as it would allow Turkish troops to enter and probably administer Northern Iraq. This would enable them to neutralise the ongoing terrorist threat from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who are based in North Iraq.

An integral part of the close relations between the US/UK and Turkey has been consistent support of Turkey’s application for EU membership, and also endorsement of the UN initiative for the reunification of Cyprus, the ‘Annan Plan’. The UN initiative would have ended the isolation of North Cyprus, which is governed by a Turkish backed administration.

During the autumn of 2006, there were ominous signs that the progress of talks concerning Turkey were running into serious difficulties in Brussels. There was strident opposition to Turkey’s membership from France, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. In addition, the Greek Republic of Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, had made repeated complaints that Turkey had failed to open ports in North Cyprus to Greek Cypriot ships. This latter point provided a legal justification for the thwarting of accession negotiations.

However, there are more important considerations. Turkey has a population of some 70 million, most of whom are Muslims. The EU is a predominantly Christian, or post Christian union. Several EU states have already significant Turkish enclaves and there is widespread unease at the prospect of free movement of 70 million Turks across the EU.

Tony Blair initially used terms such as ‘celebrating cultural diversity’ in reference to Turkey’s potential contribution to EU identity. In the wake of atrocities by home grown terrorists in the UK, this rhetoric has been dropped. Instead, the emphasis is now on facilitating an understanding of democracy and moderation by a predominantly Muslim state and the promotion of this model to neighbouring states that remain part of the ‘axis of evil’.

This new approach does have merit. The impetus to what is now the EU was the aim of ensuring that France and Germany would never engage in hostilities again. This aim has been successful. The enlargement of the EU to include most of Western Europe also provided a bulwark against communism and the expansionist aims of the USSR. As the USSR is no longer in existence, and indeed, several former communist states are now members of the EU, the question does arise as to the purpose of the EU and its future role and direction. The expansion of the EU in 2004 to include 10 Eastern bloc states and the accession of Bulgaria and Romania on 1 January 2007 does call for a strategic review. The current size of the EU and the accession of economically undeveloped member states will necessitate increased budget contributions from the richer members, primarily Germany and the UK. It will also mean that the less developed regions of the UK, currently in receipt of EU structural funds, will lose this status. It may even stimulate the overhaul of the Common Agricultural Policy and the privileged protection of French agriculture, but perhaps this is too much to expect.

One could argue that we stand at an historical crossroads at which the post Christian west is facing a resurgence of Islam. This resurgence is religious and political. Unfortunately for the west, militant Islam is threatening those middle east states which produce most of the planet’s oil supplies. Against this backcloth, the early accession of Turkey into the EU could have significant benefits. Firstly, it would assist the west in its understanding of Islam, secondly, it would demonstrate that a Muslim state could co-exist and prosper within a Christian club, namely the EU, and thirdly, it would promote a model of a democratic and secular Muslim state to neighbours who are in the grip of the ‘axis of evil’.

During December 2006, the EU suspended discussions on 8 of the 35 chapters relevant to Turkey’s EU accession. As in many EU negotiations, there was an element of chaos and comedy. It was rumoured that Turkey had made an offer to open a North Cyprus port to Greek shipping, but for some inexplicable reason, this was never confirmed in writing. However, it has now been confirmed by the Turkish Prime Minister during the visit to Turkey of Tony Blair around 16 December. Tony Blair apparently launched a last minute diplomatic initiative to save the momentum of the EU Turkey talks and he has gained support from Spain, Sweden and Italy.

The offer to open a North Cyprus port to Greek Cypriot shipping is a major concession by Turkey. The euphoria surrounding the 2004 Annan Plan, the majority vote of Turkish Cypriots in favour of the plan and the dishonoured promises of the EU to end the isolation of North Cyprus have led to cynicism in North Cyprus. During November it was proposed that the UN should be invited to administer the port of Famagusta in North Cyprus, and open the port to Greek Cypriot ships. This met with an outcry of protest from North Cyprus.

It would appear that Tony Blair has achieved a significant diplomatic success in the Turkey EU arena. If he could cement this progress, and possibly even address the Cyprus problem, it would bestow on him the aura of a successful international statesman, and undoubtedly further his aspirations for a future role other than that of British Prime Minister.

The story of the guillotine

The guillotine was first put to lethal use on April 25, 1792, at 3:30 PM, in Paris at the Place de Greve on the Right Bank of the Seine. It separated highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier's head from the rest of his body.

The device was perfected - though not invented - by Doctor Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738 - 1814). The 'e' at the end of the noun is a later, British, addition. Ironically, he belonged to a movement seeking to abolish capital punishment altogether.

Guillotine-like implements were used on delinquents from the nobility in Germany, Italy, Scotland and Persia long before the good doctor's era. Guillotin and German engineer and harpsichord maker, Tobias Schmidt, improved and industrialized it. It was Schmidt who transformed the blade, changing it from round to the familiar form and placing it at an oblique, 45 degree, angle. The process of severing the head - the blade falling, cutting through the tissues and severing the head - took less than half a second. More than 40,000 people were guillotined during the French Revolution and in its immediate aftermath (1789-1795).

Nor was the guillotine abandoned after the French Revolution. As late as 1870, one Leon Berger, an assistant executioner and carpenter, added a spring system, which stopped the mouton at the bottom of the groves, a lock/blocking device at the lunette and a new release mechanism for the blade.

The murderer Hamida Djandoubi was beheaded on September 10, 1977, in Marseilles, France. The guillotine was never used since.

a.. Total weight of a Guillotine is about 580 kg

b.. The guillotine blade with weight is over 40 kg

c.. The heights of the guillotine posts average about 4 meters

d.. The guillotine blade drop is about 2.3 meters

e.. The falling blades rate of speed is about 7 meters/second

f.. The actual beheading was completed in 2/100 of a second

g.. The power when the guillotine blade stops at the bottom is 400 kg/square inch

Cctv surveillance systems those new security guys

Don't look now! Someone's staring at you from that far wall behind the artificial potted plants in this busy hotel lobby. But there's no need for that furtive glance like you have some lint on your shoulder. There's no need for those tiny furtive steps either. No one's stalking you. It's just the hotel's CCTV surveillance system. The hotel has recently been caught up in the wave of video surveillance. That someone staring at you from across the room is just the camera from the newly installed CCTV surveillance systems. In hotels and in places where there is high human traffic, state of the art CCTV surveillance systems have been mounted for purposes of safety and as crime deterrents.

That Constant Fear

The world, it seems, is gripped by fear of terrorist attacks. In fact, after 9/11, it seems to be a Herculean effort to make life go on - do business, travel, interact with others in densely populated places. After all, if there's anything 9/11 has shown us, it is that a bomb could go off in a sidewalk while you are having an al fresco lunch with a colleague, or blow up the trans-continental plane you are in while it's in in the air, cruising at 125,000 feet.

The security guys you see milling about do not reassurance you. You have always felt that security guys patrolling public places have a very limited capacity for preventing crime. They only act when something happens in their line of sight. By then, however, you'd be beyond help.

You're Safe Now

Installed in a strategic spot and equipped with cutting edge technology in surveillance cameras, CCTV surveillance systems can record everything that goes on in its line of focus. These recordings can later be retrieved and analyzed to recreate scenes.

Software developers now see the potential of CCTV surveillance systems in preventing a repeat of large-scale terrorism after the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center. These developers are working hard to develop programs for surveillance systems, among them an important feature known as face recognition.

With face recognition installed in CCTV surveillance systems, it is now easy to recognize certain key features in the face of an individual. This face will be compared to a host of faces from a database of mug shots and photographs. A person flagged as dangerous can then be prevented from gaining access to buildings or public transportations, thus thwarting any planned attack or escape.

Big Investment That Pays Off

CCTV surveillance systems today now boast of functionalities not seen in the video surveillance systems of the past. This time, CCTV surveillance systems have

1. motion detection. This means that the surveillance system only records footage when movement triggers the surveillance system.

2. resolution as clear as day. Grainy footage is not a problem anymore with some video surveillance cameras featuring 1600 x 1200 dpi, or even more, resolution.

3. night and infrared vision. Even with low or minimal lighting, these new surveillance systems can record images with infrared technology.

Government administrators are seeing the positive side of surveillance systems. In fact, after 9/11, federal budget is flowing in for these new security measures. There are states which require the installation of surveillance systems in business establishments before these businesses can operate.

So, there is really no need to be afraid. CCTV surveillance systems, those new security guys, have your back. They are always watching.

Achieve political success through a promotional product political campaign

All political candidates may not agree on political, societal or economic issues, but it is safe to infer political candidates agree that a successful political campaign builds public support and success.

Political campaigns, similar to marketing campaigns, must use effective and useful slogans in order to grasp a typically uninterested audience. In order to do so, political candidates need to get up and work for support. How can Barack Obama or Rudy Giuliani accomplish this, you inquire? Well, that is simple – through political promotional products!

The single most important thing to accomplish in any campaign, whether it is a marketing campaign or political campaign, is name recognition. A political candidate will never achieve success if no one knows who they are. A simple way for a political candidate to accomplish name recognition is by using promotional products in their political campaign. Two very simple and common ways to do this is through using catchy political signs in yards or bumper stickers on cars. Other promotional products ideal for a political campaign are buttons. These three promotional products can effectively promote any political candidates name at home, while driving and while walking around.

Every political candidate wants to ensure their constituents are able to quickly identify the issues their political campaign supports. This may seem easy at the surface, but it is not. The current political campaign for president is filled with multiple potential political candidates. All of these potential political candidates have very different views on a myriad of issues. In order for political candidates to effectively clarify what issues they support, they could consider printing their causes on different colored awareness bracelets. This way, supporters and political candidate alike would be able to quickly identify which issues are important and to whom. Another way issue recognition can be clarified is through political balloons. Balloons have been used in political campaigns for years, but that is because they are easily noticeable, readable and depending on their size, can be seen for miles.

Trying to decide what promotional products to give at conventions or election night? A great promotional product that is perfect for outdoor conventions is a hand fan. A politically themed hand fan can allow potential voters to sit in the comfort of a cool breeze while they listen to a political candidate’s speech. Looking for a perfect promotional product for election night? Get a plethora of stress balls to hand out to political campaign workers and supporters. A political stress ball can help calm everyone’s minds as the voting numbers roll in through the evening.

Political campaigns may be stressful and time consuming for political candidate, but through using political promotional products, getting voters attention can be simple.

Facts and figures about the presidents of the usa

The first president of the united States was not George Washington.

Washington was the first president under the Constitution of June 21, 1788, ratified by 1790.

The first constitution of the USA was titled "Articles of Confederation" and was in force between 1781 and 1788. It created a single house of Congress and no executive - but for one year during this period (1781-2, John Hanson served as "President of US in Congress Assembled" - or, in short, President of the United States. He was elected by his peers, including George Washington.

Hanson was followed by Elias Boudinot (1783), Thomas Mifflin (1784), Richard Henry Lee (1785), Nathan Gorman (1786), Arthur St. Clair (1787), and Cyrus Griffin (1788).

Washington was the EIGHTH president of the USA.

Many of the features of the American presidency are fairly recent. The length of the presidency was not limited to 2 terms until 1951 in the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) was elected to 4 successive terms between 1932 and 1944.

The president's inauguration day used to be on March 4. After Roosevelt died in office in 1945, it was changed to February 20.

Blacks could not become president until 1870 and women not until 1920.

The presidential salary remained the same for almost 100 years. It was pegged at $25,000 per year until 1873 when it was doubled. The president had no expense account until 1907 when $25,000 were added to his compensation to cover expenses connected to his office. The salary today stands at $390,000 plus $50,000 in expenses.

Retired presidents were not eligible for a state pension until 1958. The Former President's Act gave them $25,000 a year, an office and minimal staff. The pension today stands at c. $161,000 - the same as a cabinet secretary.

Presidents are not elected by popular vote but by an electoral college representing the states. John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford Hayes (1876), Benjamin Harrison (1888) and George W. Bush (2000) lost the overall vote but won the presidency.

Why we re not winning the war against terror iii

While the western world media is focussing its attention on the battles taking place in Afghanistan and Iraq, Africa is being “eaten up” by our old enemies. Islam is forcing its way down from North East Africa towards the equator, while China is moving in from the East, South of the Equator.

In my last paper, “Why we’re not winning the war against terror part 2, I ended by mentioning a number of African states – Congo, Darfur (Sudan), Ethiopia, Eretria, Somalia, Rwanda, Uganda and the rest…

All of these African countries have been involved in terrorist wars in the recent past – and some are still ongoing. They’re not high profile in western media, because there are few western soldiers involved in these wars. Yet the civilian casualties are far greater in these African wars than in the middle-eastern wars.

I hope my two previous papers on the war against terror made the case for fighting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what about these African wars against terror? Those of us with long memories shudder at being reminded of ‘Black Hawk Down’ during the USA’s disastrous venture into Mogadishu in Somalia, East Africa in 1993; Somalia is now riddled with Al Qaeda.

But is there anything worth fighting for in Africa, apart from trying to stop the terrible bloodshed? Well, Islam and Communist China certainly think there’s something worth fighting for, because they’ve stepped in to replace the vacuum left by the old European influence in Africa. Roughly speaking, Islam north of the equator and China south of the equator. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia did too.

Africa is richly endowed with vast mineral resources. Everyone knows about African Diamonds and African Gold, but Africa also has the biggest reserves of uranium, platinum and many other lesser-known but vitally important strategic minerals in the world. Plus significant quantities of just about every other valuable resource, from oil and gas to coal and iron; just what China needs to feed its hunger for commodities as it builds itself into a world-beating industrial economy. China moves silently, buying-up or infiltrating strategic businesses, and leveraging political and economic influence with like-minded dictators in Southern and Central Africa. Islam is less discreet and moves with violence. The genocide in the Darfur province of the Sudan that the United Nations has been unable to stop is driven by Islamic militants, ruthlessly killing or displacing “non-believers”. So there are two different agendas at work in Africa – the Chinese are securing their supplies of essential minerals and Islamists are steadily imposing their rule and religion on the African people. Both pose a serious threat to the West.

What if we do nothing? Take Zimbabwe in Southern Africa, which has made a small impact on the headlines recently, though there’s not a state of war there… yet. Zimbabwe is a classic case of what happens when terrorists win a war. Comrade Robert Mugabe and his Marxist henchmen have been in power there for 27 years, since the end of the Rhodesian Civil War in 1980. They won the Civil War in Rhodesia with weapons and training from China, while the west imposed sanctions against Rhodesia to hamper the Rhodesian defence against Chinese and Soviet backed terrorists. The war lasted 15 long years, until the sanctions imposed by western nations brought Rhodesia to its knees. Britain backed Marxist Robert Mugabe to win the so-called ‘democratic’ elections that took place in 1980.

In the 27 years since then, tens of thousands (accurate figures are not known) have died in state-sponsored massacres of opponents to Mugabe’s rule. Thousands more have died of disease and other, starvation related illnesses. Rhodesia was known as the “breadbasket of Africa” – now it has to import food. But what was once a thriving economy – despite the civil war and sanctions – has been destroyed. Inflation was last measured at over 1,700% and people are unable to buy food even if there is food in the shops, which is not very frequently because the currency is all but worthless. Having been one of the best in Africa at 67 years, life expectancy in Zimbabwe is now the worst in the world; 37 for men and 34 for women. (World Health Organisation – http://www. who. int/countries/zwe/en/ )

But the west is powerless to help the Zimbabwe people because the regional power, South Africa refuses to condemn Mugabe. That’s not surprising. Mugabe’s political party, ZANU/PF is Marxist – like the ANC party of South African President Thabo Mbeki (and Nelson Mandela) in South Africa. We know from experience that African leaders do not tolerate opposition, unless it has no chance of succeeding. If the South African powers support anyone opposing Mugabe, they’ll be supporting their own opposition. Just wait until the South Africa opposition parties begin to become a threat to the ANC. They’ll be crushed just as ruthlessly as Mugabe is crushing the Zimbabwean opposition – now that they represent a threat. Following a high-level mission from China, both South Africa and Zimbabwe have recently strengthened their ties with that country…

The USA and Britain (rightly) have their eyes firmly fixed on the Middle East, but can they afford to ignore what’s happening in Africa?

You just might be a liberal

Like a duck who doesn’t know he’s wet, some reasonably bright people have no idea that they are knee-jerk liberals. Now there is a blog – You Just Might be a Liberal -- to help them decide. There are a number of helpful tips which can help you reveal your true political colors. For example, “If you spend more time at “Peace” rallies than at church…You Just Might be a liberal”

Here’s a few more.

“If you believe the Dixie Chicks got all those Grammys because of their singing ability instead of their politics....You Just Might be a Liberal.”

“If you think Charlie Sheen is a better role model than George W. Bush...You Just Might be a Liberal.”

“If you believe Bill Clinton "Never had sex with that woman, Miss Lewinski." You Just Might be a Liberal.”

“If you didn't find "Brokeback Mountain" the least bit creepy...You Just Might be a Liberal”

“If you've never been north of 125th Street or west of the Hudson River but think you know how Alaska should drill for oil...You Just Might be a Liberal.”

“If you think Al Franken is funny....You Just Might be a Liberal.”

“If you feel the UN should have control over America's foreign policy....You Just Might be a Liberal.”

“If you think Michael Moore is incredibly sexy....You Just Might be a Liberal.”

“If you hate the military, big oil and Halliburton but "Support Our Troops"...You Just Might be a Liberal.”

“If you've ever called Forbes magazine a "Capitalist Tool" and meant it in a bad way...You Just Might be a Liberal.”

“If you "teach" in any of the Humanities Departments of any major college...You Just Might be a Liberal.”

‘If you feel anyone who disagrees with you is brain damaged....You Just Might be a Liberal.”

By and large the humor is sharply pointed and could draw blood from a few thin skinned liberals. Written by Rod Pennington – who also has the “You Might be a Conservative” Blog -- that is just as brutal to the folks on the right as “You Just Might be a Liberal” is to the people on the left.

If you’re looking for your daily chuckle, this is a great place to start.

Clarity crafted from common sense

A massive show of political unity at home will affect troop morale, on both sides!

Let’s face it; we are all liberals, no matter how conservative we may be. The Puritans who founded America conquered dangers and disasters to win religious freedom, but they were liberals. In 1754, Benjamin Franklin depicted a rattlesnake cut into eight sections in his Pennsylvania Gazette. The eight sections of snake symbolized eight eastern seaboard colonies and the caption said “Join or Die!” It was a call to arms during the French and Indian war. By 1776, an image of a coiled rattlesnake, with “Don’t Tread on Me”, became an American icon of independence and a battle cry engrained in the Spirit of ’76.

What is different about the liberalism of the Puritans and the liberalism of the progressive movement in America today? In a word, the difference is morality. The Puritans personified deeply held, Bible based morality with their liberalism. When morality is stripped away from liberalism, the result is 30 million aborted babies over thirty years, legalized sodomy and the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), all protected by the immoral ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).

Born in 1954, I was a classic Love Generation, anti-Vietnam War liberal, living at the speed of party! It is unbelievable; what our generation has lived through. The sexual revolution, women’s lib, the music revolution, the recreational drug awakening, the Civil Rights marches, the nuclear arms race, the space race, the information revolution spawned by the computer, the internet, satellites and cell phones are just part of what we have witnessed! What a wonderful life and evolution of our democracy, in our time!

Our choices for president in 1972, when I turned eighteen and got a draft card, were Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. I did not vote that year. Most profound, perhaps, we stopped the Vietnam War to protect those poor rice farmers, from US troops. We quit and came home. Then, between 1975 and 1978, the Viet Cong and Khmer Rouge slaughtered about three million of those peasants who we demonstrated in US streets to protect, from US troops. How foolish we were!

The lesson is clear: really bad guys immediately fill the muscle void when good men stand down and go home. Those who rallied our utopian filled minds to stop the war were mostly silent about the genocide that ensued, after US troops were withdrawn. Our killed and wounded were sacrificed in great numbers. In the end, their mission and our allies were simply abandoned by Congress and our divided nation.

We grew up with Why We Fight, Victory At Sea, Combat, Black Sheep Squadron, Rat Patrol and other programs about WWII, the death camps and the cost of freedom on TV. This type of programming saturated the few over-the-air channels and we found it educational, entertaining and fascinating. Many of us still find it fascinating. It was all about the gritty, epic struggle between freedom and tyranny and it was very patriotic!

The Rifleman, Leave It To Beaver, Gunsmoke, My Three Sons, Bonanza, The Waltons, Wild Kingdom and All In The Family are just a few programs I recall that were favorites for lighter entertainment. And the Ed Sullivan show. It was all pretty wholesome fare and we loved it. The America of our youth is already gone forever, in case you missed its passing.

We watched in naive befuddlement while the Shah of Iran was overthrown by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard in Tehran, who used US hostages as pawns on TV for over a year beginning in 1979. Interest rates were sky high and lines at gas stations were longer than that. Our President at the time was a former peanut farmer and most of us watched, from afar, the rise of radical Islam without understanding it.

As a result of the gasoline shortages that followed, there was a lot of talk about energy independence. Certainly, the masses of us did not connect the dots between buying foreign oil and funding terrorism. Apparently, neither did our elected leaders who were most interested in re-election, as they almost always are above al

Why we re not winning the war against terror

Few people understand why it is inevitable that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will not end in victory for the United States of America and Britain.

I’m not a journalist, but I did fight as a soldier in one war against insurgents; and – in another civil war – my business suffered devastating losses when caught-up between the two factions. In both these wars, I witnessed the suffering of neutral civilians. Because I was intimately and personally involved in these two wars – not just as an observer – I believe I am especially qualified to explain in down-to-earth terms what is going wrong with the Afghanistan and Iraq wars today.

Both these past wars were lost to the ‘terrorists’, and I see chilling similarities in what happened back then to what is happening in Afghanistan and Iraq today. When you’re out there; patrolling, and winning scrappy, bloody little battles on the ground, or managing the war politically or militarily – you just don’t appreciate why the war isn’t coming to an end. Casting my mind back, and comparing what happened then to what’s happening today, why it’s all going wrong becomes clear.


Throughout the war on terror I fought in – more than thirty years ago – we soldiers never lost a fight against the insurgents. It was mainly a rural war, similar to the one in Afghanistan; we soldiers patrolled the countryside, visiting villages and small towns. We sought to provide the country-folk with protection from terrorists; often sharing food and drink while we spoke with the village elders. “Hearts and minds” work; sometimes providing agricultural advice and medical assistance.

But after these friendly exchanges, our patrols had to move on – we couldn’t be everywhere, all the time. We based up nearby for the night, or returned by helicopter or truck to our secure main camp. When our tour of duty in the operational area ended, we’d journey home for ‘R&R’; rest, recreation and retraining. We knew we had the measure of them, and thought we were winning…

But the villagers we’d exchanged those greetings with; advised and helped when we were visiting, were left alone to face the consequences of their friendliness towards us – the enemy of the insurgents. Village elders would be accused and found guilty of being “sellouts” (I don’t know what the term is in Afghanistan). They’d be tortured and/or killed, sometimes in the presence of the village population. Even if the terrorists didn’t come round to the village for weeks or months after we soldiers had visited, there might be some disaffected villager who denounced the sellouts when the terrorists eventually turned up. This war went on for fifteen long years.

How can we expect to hold the “hearts and minds” of these people? We arrive, we’re friendly and helpful… and then we go back to the safety of our camps or bases while they’re left to suffer the fallout. It didn’t work back then in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and it isn’t working now in Afghanistan.


I witnessed another – this time urban – battle for hearts and minds. Because it seems to me that it’s largely an urban fight, the Iraq war makes me think of this other ‘struggle’ that occurred over twenty years ago. It was lost comparatively quickly – just a matter of a few years – and the authorities; soldiers, policemen and politicians never got properly to grips with it… They couldn’t face the media and the political consequences of an all-out battle with the insurgents and their supporters.

The insurgents quickly took control of the urban areas where their supporters lived – reducing the police and soldiers who were loyal to the legitimate government to token armed patrols through the streets; sometimes never even leaving the safety of their armoured vehicles, except for raids on suspected terrorist bases. The terrorists soon established themselves as the ‘authority’ and the legitimate policemen became, in the eyes of the population, the insurgents! For example, terrorists destroyed all previous road signs and replaced them with their own makeshift ones. The new ‘authorities’ established their own “tax” systems. Shopkeepers who were seen to have been loyal to the old authorities or system had their businesses destroyed and were often beaten up or killed by the new ‘authorities’ after being tried by a ‘people’s court’.

The legitimate authorities were rendered useless after they were unable to protect the people in their homes. Why? – Because they were not a part of the population they were trying to protect. They patrolled the streets and then went back to the security of their bases and homes – away from the population they were meant to protect.

I repeat. How can we expect to win and retain the “hearts and minds” of these people? We arrive, we’re friendly and helpful… and then we go back to the safety of our camps or bases while they’re left to suffer the fallout. It didn’t work then and it isn’t working now.

Another look at indians native americans amerindians

Native Americans are often cast in the role of victims of White aggression and unbridled avarice-driven or gratuitous violence, especially in the territories known collectively today as the United States. But the first massacre was perpetrated by Indians in the British colony Jamestown, in Virginia in 1622. They slaughtered 347 white men, women and children on that occasion.

Europeans are also accused of importing pathogens, disease causing agents, such as smallpox and measles, malaria and yellow fever. Indigenous people had no immunological resistance to these illnesses as they were never exposed to them.

But recent findings by a team of anthropologists, economists and paleopathologists who have completed a massive study of the health of people living in the Western Hemisphere in the last 7,000 years - suggest that Native American's health was severely run down long before the Europeans delivered the coup de grace.

The researchers analyzed more than 12,500 skeletons - half of them pre-Columbian - from 65 sites in North and South America for evidence of infections, malnutrition and other health problems.

The study - "The Backbone of History: Health and Nutrition in the Western Hemisphere", edited by Dr. Richard H. Steckel and Dr. Jerome C. Rose - discovered that the haleness of Native-Americans declined markedly in the 1000 years before Columbus "discovered" them.

The vast majority of the skeletons showed telltale signs of advanced degenerative joint disease, deteriorating dental health, stature, anemia, arrested tissue development, infections and trauma from injuries. These were attributed by the participants to limited diets and urban congestion. People became shorter and died earlier - on average at age 35 - as the centuries passed.

"Pre-Columbian populations were among the healthiest and the least healthy in our sample," Dr. Steckel and Dr. Rose said. "While pre-Columbian natives may have lived in a disease environment substantially different from that in other parts of the globe, the original inhabitants also brought with them, or evolved with, enough pathogens to create chronic conditions of ill health under conditions of systematic agriculture and urban living."

Moreover, there are signs that diseases hitherto thought to have been introduced by the white explorers were actually indigenous.1,000-year-old Peruvian mummies, for instance, were found to have been infected with tuberculosis in their lungs.

In the footsteps of d company 2nd oxfordshire and buckinghamshire light infantry d-day 6 june 1944

: On the 6 June 1944 the greatest seaborne invasion the world has ever known took place on the Calvados Coast of Normandy, France. This invasion was the beginning of the end of the Second World War and the 6 June 1944 will be forever known as D-Day. This article is an account of the first action that took place on D-Day at the Caen Canal and River Orne Bridges near Bйnouville, France. It tells the true story of the coup-de-main assault by British Gliderborne soldiers to capture these two vital bridges.
Preceding the seaborne landings three Allied Airborne Divisions were dropped to secure the flanks of the five-invasion beaches where the Allied 21st Army Group was to come ashore. In the west two US Airborne Divisions dropped onto the Cotentin peninsula behind UTAH beach and in the east the British 6th Airborne Division (Br 6 AB Div) dropped into the area between the River Orne and River Dives to the east of SWORD beach.
One of the primary tasks of the Br 6 AB Div was to seize intact the two bridges over the Caen Canal and River Orne near Bйnouville and hold them until relieved against any German counterattacks. This mission was considered to be vital to the success of the invasion, as it would allow the seaborne forces to reinforce the Br 6 AB Div’s area and subsequently break out to the east. D Company the 2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (D Coy 2 OBLI) commanded by Major John Howard was selected to carryout this mission and this is their story.
On the morning of 5 June 1944 the men of D Coy 2 OBLI started their final preparations and at noon Maj Howard learned that the invasion was on. He ordered the men to rest and when the evening meal was over they boarded the trucks to go to their gliders. As they climbed into their gliders he shook hands with the officers and called out words of encouragement to the men. Finally he moved to his own glider, upon the nose of which Pte Wally Parr had chalked ‘Lady Irene’ to name it after his wife. When Maj Howard got in the glider, the door was closed and on schedule they started to move down the runway. At 22.56 hrs ‘Lady Irene’ was airborne and D Coy 2 OBLI was on their way into history.
The six Halifax bombers from 298 Squadron RAF took-off with the accompanying Horsa gliders in tow and crossed the English Channel flying at an altitude of 7,000 ft. All around them were Heavy Bombers going to drop bombs on German positions in the invasion area, Caen or other selected targets. With all of this air activity the German anti-aircraft and searchlight crews failed to notice the gliders.
At the appointed time the Halifax bomber released the first glider to begin its run into the target. In the glider S/Sgt Wallwork checked their altitude and the compass, whilst S/Sgt John Ainsworth checked his stopwatch. At the appointed mark they turned to starboard and halfway down the crosswind leg of their approach S/Sgt Wallwork saw it, he could make out the river, the canal and both bridges. With visibility good and the target in sight he dropped the glider’s nose and made for the LZ. With the ground rushing up at around 95mph he held the glider on course; they hit the ground and caught the first of the wire defences. Jim Wallwork shouted, “Stream” and John Ainsworth released the arrester parachute; it lifted the tail, forced the nose into the ground, tore off the wheels and bounced the glider back into the air. The arrester parachute did its job and they hit the ground again; this time on the skids. Jim Wallwork shouted, “Jettison” and John Ainsworth pressed the button to release the parachute; now travelling at about 60mph the glider threw up hundreds of friction sparks from the skids as they passed over rocks. Seeing these sparks through the open door Maj Howard thought that they had been spotted and were being fired upon. All of a sudden there was an almighty crash and the glider came to a jarring halt; Jim Wallwork and John Ainsworth were hurled out through the cockpit still strapped in their seats. It was 00.16 hrs early in the morning of D-Day 6 June 1944 and the first Allied soldiers had arrived on French soil.
The glider’s passengers were momentarily knocked unconscious, but Maj Howard’s fanaticism for physical fitness paid off; they quickly recovered and in a matter of seconds their training kicked in. Automatically removing their harnesses, they exited the glider through any hole they could make or find. On reaching the outside Maj Howard realised that there was no shooting and they had landed without being spotted. Looking around he thanked god for Jim Wallwork and John Ainsworth; they had put the glider right into the corner of the field where he wanted it.
Lt Herbert Denham ‘Den’ Brotheridge and the men of 25 Platoon swiftly exited the glider and quietly shook out into their assault formation. Lt Brotheridge whispered into Cpl Jack Bailey’s ear and off he went with his two men to deal with the pillbox where the firing mechanism to blow the bridges was located. Gathering the remainder of his platoon he gave a whispered, “Come on lads” and they made a dash for the bridge.
One minute had passed since the first glider had landed and S/Sgt Oliver Bowland at the controls of glider 92 came down within 25 yards of glider 91. Lt David Wood was thrown clear still clutching on to his sten and canvas bucket of extra grenades; relieved to find himself in one piece he pulled himself together, gathered his platoon and set off for the wire perimeter where Maj Howard would be waiting.
Lt Brotheridge and 25 Platoon were moving on to the bridge at a steady trot as two German sentries passed each other in the middle. The sentry walking towards the eastern end of the bridge was suddenly confronted by a pack of British airborne soldiers coming out of the night; confronted by this hellish sight he turned tail and ran shouting “paratroopers” as he went. The second sentry, a German NCO, turned to see what was happening and on seeing the British paratroopers running towards him pulled out the Verey pistol that he was carrying. Pte Billy Gray sent a burst from his Bren towards him and Lt Den Brotheridge fired off a full magazine from his sten. The German NCO was hit by a storm of bullets, but as he fell dead to the ground the Verey pistol went off and a flare shot up into the night.
As the flare went off Cpl Bailey and his two men arrived at the pillbox and tossed their grenades in through the weapon slits; the grenades were followed up with a burst of fire and they looked inside when the dust settled to find no one left alive.
Pte Wally Parr was just running on to the bridge when the flare shot skywards; he saw the door of a nearby dugout half open and abruptly shut again. Pulling out a grenade he ran across the road and by the time he got to the dugout the pin was out. Opening the door just enough to throw it in, he tossed the grenade through the opening and quickly shut the door. As the grenade exploded Pte Charlie Gardiner jumped into the dugout, Wally Parr opened the door again, and Gardiner finished off the Germans inside with a burst from his sten.
The shouts of “paratroopers” from the running sentry, the sound of Lt Brotheridge’s sten, Pte Gray’s burst from his Bren, the crump of Cpl Bailey’s grenades going off and the flare from the German NCOs Verey pistol brought the other German defenders to life. Many of the private soldiers were foreign conscripts and these quickly faded into the night, but the NCOs all of whom were German sprang to their positions.
Back on LZ ‘X’ glider 93 came to a halt with a shuddering crash on the edge of the pond between the two gliders already on the ground, as it did so it swung ninety degrees breaking in half. Capt John Vaughan RAMC was thrown clear and knocked completely unconscious. Lt Richard ‘Sandy’ Smith was also thrown clear to land face down in the mud; he had lost his sten and momentarily did not know where he was or what he was doing. Picking up the nearest sten Lt Smith gathered his platoon together and made for Maj Howard’s position. One of the other members of 14 Platoon however, was not so lucky; L/Cpl Fred Greenhalgh was knocked unconscious on impact and thrown clear to land face down in the pond where he drowned.
By now the sappers from glider 91 were under the bridge cutting wires and looking for explosives as they went. Lt David Wood’s 24 Platoon were just arriving at Maj Howard’s position and barely two minutes had passed since the first glider had touched down.
The German sentry reached the far end of the bridge without being hit and threw himself into a trench. The Germans in their trenches turned their weapons to point at the running airborne soldiers. Lt Brotheridge was almost across the bridge when he saw the first of the enemy beginning to react and pulled a grenade from his pouch as he ran. Pte Billy Gray fired his Bren from the hip towards the enemy, as did many of the other charging men of 25 Platoon. Getting the pin out of his grenade Lt Brotheridge threw it at one of the enemy occupied trenches. As he did so a machine-gunner in another enemy trench off to his right sent a burst in his direction. As his grenade exploded in the enemy trench wiping out its occupants Lt Den Brotheridge was thrown back by the force of the machine-gun’s bullets to land on his back in the middle of the road. Other members of 25 Platoon began firing at the Germans in their trenches; the combination of this fire and a burst from Pte Gray’s Bren knocked out the machine-gun that had brought Lt Brotheridge down.
Wally Parr was trying to shout “Able, Able, Able” as he ran on to the bridge, but the words would just not come out. Freeing his tongue from the roof of his dried out mouth he finally let out a yell of “Come out and fight you square-headed bastards” in his broad Cockney accent. Lt David Wood’s men were now starting to get to grips with the Germans on the home bank.
Running straight past Maj Howard, 14 Platoon raced on to the bridge; Lt Sandy Smith had wrenched his knee and more hobbled than ran. As he crossed the bridge he saw Lt Brotheridge’s Platoon firing their weapons and throwing grenades at the German defenders. As he reached the far end he saw a German soldier near the low wall in front of the Cafй Gondrйe about to throw a stick grenade; with a burst from his sten he sent the German sprawling across the wall dead, but the grenade landed close to Lt Smith and went off. He did not feel a thing and it was only when one of his corporals who was nearby asked if he was all right that Lt Sandy Smith noticed the holes in his Denison smock and trousers; he had been hit by the grenade’s fragments and the wrist of his trigger hand had lost all of its flesh, but he could still use his trigger finger.
Inside the Cafй Gondrйe the owner, Georges Gondrйe, had been awakened by all the noise. Crawling to one of the upper floor windows he peeped over the sill to see what was going on; as he did so Lt Smith saw the movement and thinking that it was a German soldier let off a burst from his sten in the direction of the Cafй. Fortunately for Georges Gondrйe the burst went high shattering the window and hitting the wooden beams. He beat a hasty retreat, gathered his family together, and then took them downstairs to the comparative safety of the cellar. Lt Smith continued with the task in hand and led his platoon in the clearing of the remaining trenches on the western bank of the Canal.
At 00.21 hrs, the fighting at the Caen Canal Bridge started to die down and Pte Parr made his way to the Cafй that was the rallying point for 25 Platoon. As he ran past the end of the bridge he saw one of his comrades lying on the ground in the middle of the road. Knowing that he had to report to Lt Brotheridge he continued on for a few more paces before he pulled up short. Turning around he realised that the soldier on the ground was Lt Brotheridge. He went back and knelt down beside his Platoon Commander; Lt Brotheridge had been shot in the neck, his eyes were open and his lips were moving, but not a sound came out; as Wally Parr put his hand under Lt Brotheridge’s head to lift it up his eyes just rolled back.
24 Platoon had finished clearing the trenches on the home bank of the canal and Lt Wood decided to report to Maj Howard that his task was complete. With Sgt Leather and a runner he was moving back towards Maj Howard’s position when a burst from a German schmeisser rang out. Three bullets caught Lt David Wood in the leg and he fell to the ground. Bleeding profusely, frightened and shaken up he tried to stand but found he was unable to so. Both Sgt Leather and the runner had also been hit and lay on the ground nearby. Cpl Godbold one of his section commanders took over command of the platoon.
It was about this time that a shaken, but none too seriously injured S/Sgt Jim Wallwork started to regain consciousness; he was lying on his stomach with his seat on top of him. He could hear John Ainsworth calling out his name and asking if he was all right. Looking around he saw S/Sgt Ainsworth pinned under the wreckage of the glider’s nose and when he asked him if he could crawl out he replied, “No.” He asked if he lifted the nose of the glider could he crawl out, to which he received the reply, “I’ll try” and as he lifted the wreckage John Ainsworth crawled out. After getting a medic to see to John Ainsworth’s injuries, Jim Wallwork began his secondary task of unloading ammunition and carrying it forward to the men on the bridge.
It was now 00.22 hrs, six minutes after the first glider had landed, and reports of what was happening started to reach Maj Howard. The first information to come in was about Den Brotheridge; this was devastating news, as they were the best of friends. The next piece of news he received was that Lt David Wood and his Platoon Sergeant had also been hit; two of his three platoons at the bridge were now without their Platoon Commander. This was followed up with a report from 14 Platoon that informed him of Lt Smith’s injuries. Whilst Sandy Smith was still on his feet Maj Howard could not help thinking that he had effectively lost all three of his Platoon Commanders at the canal bridge; added to this he did not know what was happening at the Orne River Bridge.
At the Orne River Bridge the action was nowhere near as dramatic, glider 94 had missed the target area altogether landing some eight miles away near one of the bridges over the River Dives by Varaville; the Halifax crew had released the glider in the wrong place due to a navigational error.
Glider 96, piloted by S/Sgt Roy Howard and S/Sgt Fred Baacke, was the only one of the three gliders to come to rest on LZ ‘Y’. At 00.20 hrs they made an easy landing coming to a halt some three hundred yards from the bridge; in this glider were Lt Dennis Fox and 17 Platoon. On landing Sgt Thornton reminded Lt Fox that he had forgotten to open the door, but when Dennis Fox tried to open it the door would not budge so Sgt Thornton had to show him how it was done.
A minute later glider 95, piloted by S/Sgt Stan Pearson and S/Sgt Len Guthrie, touched down and came to a halt short of LZ ‘Y’, some 700 yards away from the bridge. This glider carried Lt H J ‘Todd’ Sweeney and 23 Platoon.
Dismounting from their glider 17 Platoon shook out into their approach formation; one section to the front followed by Lt Dennis Fox, the remaining two sections and Sgt Thornton with the remainder of platoon headquarters at the rear. When the lead section did not move off, Dennis Fox went forward to find out why. The section commander pointed out a German manning a machine-gun at the bridge. Lt Fox told him to get moving, but he still hesitated; so taking the bull by the horns Lt Dennis Fox led 17 Platoon off to start their approach. They had just got moving when the German at the bridge saw them and opened up with his MG 34; the men of 17 Platoon dived for cover. Sgt Thornton at the back grabbed hold of the platoon’s 2-inch mortar and immediately returned fire, putting a mortar round right on top of the machine-gunner. Seeing this land, Lt Fox and his platoon got up and charged to the bridge shouting “Fox, Fox, Fox” as they went. Reaching the bridge they were just in time to see the last of the Germans running away. One of the NCOs from the 17 Platoon’s lead section jumped into the empty machine-gun pit, grabbed hold of their discarded MG 34 and sent a long burst of fire after them. These were the only shots fired in the capture of the bridge over the River Orne.
Lt Todd Sweeney and 23 Platoon dismounted from glider 95 to hear the machine-gun open up at the bridge. They quickly shook out and headed off for the bridge at the double with Lt Sweeney leading the way. The only casualties they suffered were those that failed to see the drainage ditches that crossed their approach. Soaked to the skin and covered in mud, Lt Sweeney led his men up to the bridge. Unnerved by the seemingly calm situation and the lack of any opposition on the bridge, he made the final approach with caution. Leaving one section to secure the home bank, Lt Sweeney led the remainder across at the run. As they reached the far end Lt Todd Sweeney saw Lt Dennis Fox. Lt Sweeney raced up to him, “Dennis, how are you, is everything all right?” to which he received the reply, “Yes I think so, but I can’t find the bloody umpires!”
Leaving Lt Fox to organise the immediate defence of the River Bridge Lt Sweeney made his way to the Canal Bridge to report to Maj Howard. At 00.26 hrs, ten minutes after glider 91 had landed, John Howard had the news he had been waiting for; D Coy 2 OBLI had seized both bridges intact. Exuberant Maj Howard turned to his radio operator Cpl Tappenden and told him to send the message that the bridges had been captured. “HAM and JAM, HAM and JAM, HAM and JAM” out over the radio the codewords went; “HAM and JAM, HAM and JAM, HAM and JAM” Cpl Tappenden continued to send. What Maj Howard and Cpl Tappenden did not know was that Brig Poett was unable to receive the message.
The Caen Canal Bridge was named “Pegasus Bridge” after the Pegasus emblem worn by the British 6th Airborne Division in memory of this action. The River Orne Bridge was renamed “Horsa Bridge” after the gliders that carried the men who landed here.
[ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ]